Brands do not exist in a vacuum; they exist in a culture. They have an obligation to consider what the current environment means to their consumers. Speaking up is not about sales tomorrow, it’s about relevance today. It’s about being human in a human environment. Unless you acknowledge the present, you risk alienating your audience and getting left behind.

Research bears this out. A recent Wunderman study on Wantedness found that 79% of consumers felt that brands must actively demonstrate “they understand and care about me.” Another 89% are loyal to brands that share their values. In other words, we expect you show us that our opinions matter.

Think about how you want to be seen ten years from today. Will you be a voice that spoke up about what matters, or one that watched silently as others took charge of our shared values?